Municipal Engineers Association Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) Website


Upcoming MCEA Webinars:

The MEA is hosting a series of webinars in May and June.  See details below:

Introduction to MCEA:  June 19th to 21st, 1:30pm to 4:00pm

(This webinar is intended for practitioners who want to learn/understand the application of the MCEA)

CLICK HERE to register

MCEA 2023 Amendments Update - Appendix-1 | Roads: [May 12th, 10:00am to 12:00pm]

CLICK HERE to register  

​​MCEA 2023 Amendments Update -  Appendix-1 | Water/Wastewater: May 15th, 1:30pm to 3:30pm

CLICK HERE to register

MCEA 2023 Amendments Update -  Municipal Heritage Bridges: May 16th, 1:30pm to 3:00pm

CLICK HERE to register 

General Information Webinar - Highlights of the MCEA Amendment:

The MEA recently hosted a free webinar on March 27, 2023 that provided a general  overview of the recently approved 2023 MCEA Amendment. 

To view a recording of the webinar, CLICK HERE


MCEA Amendment Approved!

The Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks recently approved an amendment to the MCEA on March 3, 2023.  To view the new MCEA document, CLICK HERE.

A free general information webinar will be hosted by MEA on March 27 at 2:00 pm. This webinar will provide a high level overview of the amendments. You can register for this free webinar HERE

The MEA will also be providing a series of more in-depth webinars for specific sections of the MCEA to assist users in understanding the amendments in much more detail. MEA will announce the schedule for these webinars shortly. 

MEA will be publishing a new manual: MEA User Guide to the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment.  It will be released later this spring.  The new MEA user guide will include useful tips, interpretation advice, examples and case studies that complement the approved version of the MCEA document. The user guide will be available in hard copy and searchable digital subscription formats.

Until the new user guide is ready, the MEA has suspended all sales of hardcopies of the previous version of the MCEA manual/companion guide.  Current/active subscribers to the digital searchable manual will only be able to view the old version of the manual for the time being - a new searchable digital version of the user guide will replace the current MCEA manual and will be uploaded for viewing by subscribers as soon as possible. 

MCEA Amendment Status - Free Information Webinar Scheduled for September 15, 2021 at 1:00 pm

The MEA will be hosting a free webinar on September 15, 2021, providing an information update regarding the status of MCEA amendments. The webinar will cover the following topics and will allow some time for participants to ask questions:

  • Update:  Process and timing for the ultimate approval of the amendments
  • Revisions to the proposed amendments since September 2019
  • Overview about the new Part 2 Order Process:
    • how does it work?
    • After one year – has new process been successful?
  • Future Regulation Replacing the MCEA?
    • MECP’s plans for EA reform
    • MEA’s submission and advice for a new regulation
    • What will likely change/what will likely remain the same?
  • Air Quality Assessments
    • Do Air Quality Assessments add value in the MCEA process? 
  • Upcoming MCEA Training Opportunities
    • Approval of Collector/Arterial Roads through the Planning Act.
    • Detailed explanation of approved amendments to MCEA (4 sessions)
      • Roads,
      • water/wastewater,
      • Transit,
      • Section A
  • Ask an Expert Feature on MEA/MCEA Website.

The webinar will be held on Wednesday September 15th, 2021 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  If you would like to participate, use the link below - there is no need to register:


Introduction to MCEA Workshop Webinar (October 12 - 14, 2021):

The MEA is hosting a webinar of its regular Indroduction to MCEA Workshop.  It will be held over three (3) days from October 12 - 14,  (2 hrs per day).

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

MCEA Amendments/Reform - UPDATE FROM MEA (January 11, 2021)

MECP is currently consulting with Indigenous groups on the amendments proposed to various Class EAs (including the MCEA).   It is hoped that this consultation will be successfully completed in the coming months and then that approval of the amendments can proceed. 

There is significant work ahead after the amendment to the MCEA is approved – practitioners will need to become familiar with the details of the changes to the MCEA and MEA will need to participate in further EA reforms as MECP develops a ‘Project List’ and a new regulation that will replace the MCEA.   MEA has established an MCEA Reform Sub-Committee.   This small group of EA professionals represents a variety of backgrounds (Road, Water, Wasterwater, Transit), (small rural/large urban) (engineers/planners) (municipal/consultant) that have committed considerable time and will be available for Zoom calls and email exchanges.

The following individuals have agreed to work on the MCEA Reform Sub-Committee;

  • Paul Knowles (Chair) – MEA
  • Dave Thompson – MEA/Loyalist
  • Reg Russwurm – MEA/Guelph
  • Salim Alibhai – MEA/RPWCO/York
  • Stephen Willis – RPCO/Ottawa
  • Margaret Fazio – Hamilton
  • Andrew McGregor – RV Anderson
  • Gillie Thompson – WSP

After receiving some further information from MECP, MEA will now prepare a new section for the Companion Guide that will provide guidance for proponents that have unresolved concerns (Part II Order Requests) during the 30 day posting with the Notice of Completion.   We plan to present this information at the upcoming OGRA conference on February 22, 2021.

The MEA plans to schedule a series of webinars to explain the changes included in the amendment to the MCEA.  They will be scheduled pending approval of the amendments by MECP

  • Approval of Arterial/Collector Roads through the Planning Act
  • Amendments to MCEA Appendix 1 – Roads
  • Amendments to MCEA Appendix 1 – Water/Wastewater
  • Amendments to MCEA Transit
  • Amendments to MCEA Section A                

Notice of Completion - Revised Wording Template Approved by MECP (Jan 2021)

The MECP recently approved revised wording for the MCEA Notice of Completion. The revised Notice of Completion template can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.


Annual MCEA Monitoring Report Now Available:

The MEA's Annual MCEA Monitoring Report (2020) is now availalbe.  To view it, CLICK HERE.


Introduction to MCEA Webinar:  October 20 - 22, 2020

The MEA will be hosting an Introducton to MCEA Webinar on October 20 - 22, 2020.  It is being offered as 3-modules over 3 days (1 module per day).  

CLICK HERE for more information about the webinar and to register.



Please refer to the following news item for an update on MCEA Reform and how the Part 2 Order (PIIOR) Review Process has now changed.

CLICK HERE to read the news item.

MCEA Amendments - Important News

The MEA has prepared an article to update members regarding the status of the  Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) amendment and the recent passing of the COVID-19 Recovery Act, which includes important amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act.

Please click HERE to view the article. 

MCEA Amendments - UPDATE

Since the early spring of 2019, the Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) has been working with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to amend and streamline the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process.  On July 8, 2020, the MECP posted MEA’s proposed amendments to the MCEA on their Environmental Registry for a 45-day public commenting period.    MEA will be asked to respond to the comments that are received and work with MECP staff as they prepare a recommendation for decision by the Minister.   

Please visit the Environmental Registry ( for complete information on the amendments proposed to eight different Class EAs.  The specific information related to the proposed amendment to the MCEA is below (these tables were developed with the support of the MEA):

In addition, the Provincial Government has also introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020, which includes a number of initiatives to support Ontario’s economic recovery. This Bill includes the MECP's proposed amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act, which will allow the government to move forward with the next phase of environmental assessment modernization, to further reduce delays and focus resources on projects with a higher potential for environmental impacts so that communities can get important infrastructure projects built faster, while maintaining strong environmental oversight.   An information notice has been posted on the Environmental Registry to provide information about the proposed legislative changes to the Act that will be proceeding through the legislative process.  Please refer to ERO 019-2051 for more information.  

MEA will be reviewing the proposed next phase of EA modernization and actively participating in the governments process.

Your comments/support for this amendment are important. Please submit comments to by August 22, 2020. 


MCEA Webinar-3:  Consultation Expectations for MCEA Schedule A+ Projects

On June 24, the MEA hosted a free webinar entitled Consultation Expectations for MCEA Schedule A+ Projects.

  • To view the recorded webinar CLICK HERE
  • To view the slide deck CLICK HERE
  • Questions/Answers Summary:  Answers to questions asked during the webinar will be posted as soon as they are ready

The MEA is planning to host more MCEA webinars later in the fall. Stay tuned for details!


MCEA Webinar-2:  The New Heritage Bridge Checklist

On May 13, the MEA hosted a free webinar entitled The New Heritage Bridge Checklist.


MCEA Webinar-1 Effective MCEA Consultation During COVID-19

On April 29, the MEA hosted a free webinar entitled Effective MCEA Consultation During COVID19.

Update MCEA Reform

For some time, MEA has been seeking changes to the Municipal Class EA (MCEA) process to eliminate duplication, simplify and streamline the MCEA process, exclude Part II Order Requests (PIIORs) on Schedule A & A+ projects and align level of effort with risk.   After several years of inaction the following has transpired:

  • April 2019 – MECP releases Discussion Paper

  • June 2019 – Bill 108;

    • Exempt PIIORs for Schedule A & A+ projects

    • Limit scope and time for PIIORs

  • June 2019 – Class EA Proponents encouraged to amend their respective Class EAs

  • Sept 30, 2019 – MEA submits proposed amendments of MCEA to address remaining issues.

  • Autumn 2019 - June 2020 - MEA works with MECP to finalize amendment language; awating final approval of amendments from MECP

  • June 2020 - ?? -  MEA will revise and republish MCEA Manual and offer for sale as soon as MECP approves the MCEA ammendments. In addition MEA will also provide webniars focusing on the nature of the MCEA amendments to update members and practitioners (STAY TUNED).


This amendment to the MCEA updates a number of sections in Part A but the major changes are to the project schedules in Appendix 1.   The amended project schedules use environmental impacts as triggers, classify based on risk and recognize that other approvals mitigate risk.   In December 2019, the proposed amendment was discussed with MECP staff and the wording finalized.   The finalized proposed amendment includes the following changes to the project schedules;


New Projects Added to Schedule A+

Projects Shifted from Schedule B or C to A or A+

Projects Shifted from Schedule A to A+

LID Features

Pumping Stations or Water Storage Facilities (no new property)

Maintenance Projects at Treatment Facilities that could Impact the Community

Hauled Waste Receiving Station

Minor (<50%) Increased to Capacity at Treatment Facilities

Expand Water/Wastewater System within Road Allowance


Continuous Turn Lanes

Infrastructure Crossing a Water Course

if Replacement,

Trenchless or Attached to Existing Bridge. 

New Sidewalks

Retaining Walls

Stockpiling Salt Inside a Building

Utility Relocations

Road Diets

Traffic Calming

One Lane Bridge

to Two Lanes

New Fences

Expand Expressways – Schedule C

Patrol Yards



Pathways within ROW



Active Transportation Bridges



Heritage Bridges after Heritage Issues are Addressed.  Note – MEA is currently working to update the checklist that will be used to address heritage issues.



Arterial and Collector Roads Required as a Specific Condition of a Planning Approval



New Traffic Control Devices

New Safety Projects



Project to Address an Emergency Note – Must Notify Director



Going forward, we understand that MECP will post the proposed amendment of the MCEA for comment in January 2020.   In February-March, MEA will review and respond to comments from the posting and then submit the entire package to the Minister for approval.   The amendment, when approved, will mean significant changes requireding:


  1. A complete re-write of the MCEA manual which we expect to complete soon after the Minister approves the amendment
  2. Training to outline the changes.  MEA is developing a ½ day training course to address this need. Anticipating an early spring approval of the amendment, MEA is tentatively scheduling this training for the week of June 7 – 13, 2020 and October 13 – 16, 2020.   Reserve this time in your calendars.

2019 MCEA Annual Monitoring Report

The 2019 Annual MCEA Monitoring Report has been posted.  Click here to view it.

MCEA Proposed Amendments Submitted to MECP Sept. 30/19

The MEA has been working on the development of major amendments to the MCEA process.  The proposed amendments were previously circluated to MEA members for comment. The MEA  has submitted the proposed amendment cocument templates to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) on September 30, 2019.  

To review the submitted amendments, please follow this link which will redirect you to a news item posted on the MEA's main website that includes the various amendment templates.  

The MEA is hopeful the MECP will approve these amendments later this Autumn. Once approved, we will edit the MCEA Manual and have the latest version available as soon as possible. 


MCEA Workshop October 15-16, 2019:  *** SOLD OUT ***

The MEA is hosting a Muncipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) Workshop on October 15-16, 2019 at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga.  

For more information on the Workshop and to register, please click here.

Registration is limited to 40 participants.  This is a popular course - act fast to reserve your spot!


2019-05-23:  MEA, RCCAO & OGRA Issue Comments to MECP on Modernizing Ontario's Environmental Assessment Program

The MEA, RCCAO & OGRA jointly released the following comments to the MECP:

ERO Instrument #013-5101 Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Program - Discussion Paper

ERO #013-5102 Modernizing Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Program - Environmental Assessment Act


Province Issues MECP Discussion Paper:  Modernizing Ontario's Environmental Assessment Program

The Province recently released a Discussion Paper by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks entitiled:  Modernizing Ontario's Environmental Assessment Program.  You can view it by clicking here.

The MEA is actively reviewing the disscussion paper and will be providing comments by the May 25, 2019 deadline.  The MEA will be encouraging other associations to support improvements to the EA process.  


MCEA Proposed Draft Amendments for 2019:

The MEA is has developed proposed draft amendments for the MCEA document which are planned to be implemented in 2019.  Members are encouraged to review the proposed draft amendments and to provide comments. For more details, please click here.  


Upcoming MCEA Workshop June 3-4, 2019 in Mississauga ***SOLD OUT***

Registration has been closed.  The MEA is planning to host another MCEA Workshop in October.  Check back for details/dates.  

The MCEA Manual Companion Guide (Rev 2) has been uploaded to the website - refer to the top ribbon on the home page. 


New MOECC Process for Notice of Commencement and Completion

MOECC has circulated information about a new notification process for Class EA notices of commencement and completion. This process was in effect as of May 1, 2018 and applies to both ongoing and new projects. Current EAs are subject to this process for the notice of completion, and any new EAs would be subject to this process for both the notice of commencement and notice of completion. The process os outlined as follows:

New Notification Procedure:

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change becomes aware of streamlined environmental assessments (e.g., class environmental assessment projects, electricity projects and waste management projects) through notifications by project owners. Notifying the ministry is an important step in the streamlined environmental assessment processes. As part of the ministry’s ongoing efforts to improve processes and ensure the ministry has an opportunity to provide input on projects undergoing streamlined environmental assessments, the ministry has established dedicated email accounts in each regional office. These accounts will be used to receive notices as required in your class environmental assessment process along with a new “Project Information Form”.  As of May 1, 2018, proponents must use this new process.

4 Step Process for Submitting Notices of Commencement for Streamlined EAs

To submit your notice you need to do the following:

  1.  Download and complete the Project Information Form. (The Form can be found here under “Streamlined EAs”. It is an excel spreadsheet with columns that need to be filled out by the proponent. The form has been developed for ease of use (i.e. drop down pick list for most fields). Instructions on filling out the form are contained in 2 tabs within the form itself).

     2. Create an email. The subject line of your email must include in this order: project location, type of streamlined EA and project name

For example:

  •          York Region, MEA Class EA, Elgin Mills Rd East (Bayview to Woodbine)
  •          Durham Region, Electricity Screening Process, New Cogeneration Station
  •          City of Ottawa, Waste Management Screening Process, Landfill Expansion   

      3. Attach the completed Project Information Form (in excel format) and a copy of your project notice (in PDF format) to the email.

      4. Send by email to the appropriate ministry regional office:

Central Region –

Eastern Region –

Northern Region –

South West Region –

West Central Region –


3 Step Process for Submitting Notices of Completion for Streamlined EAs

To submit your notice you need to do the following:

  1.     Create an email. The subject line of your email must include in this order: project location, type of streamlined EA and project name

For example:

  •          York Region, MEA Class EA, Elgin Mills Rd East (Bayview to Woodbine)
  •          Durham Region, Electricity Screening Process, New Cogeneration Station
  •          City of Ottawa, Waste Management Screening Process, Landfill Expansion

      2.    Attach a copy of your project notice (in PDF format) to the email.

      3.    Send by email to the appropriate ministry regional office:

Central Region –

Eastern Region –

Northern Region –

South West Region –

West Central Region –


·         The hyperlink to the MOECC District Officer Locator website, can be used to assist with determining what ministry region your project is located.

·         If your project is located in more than one ministry region, you need to submit your notices to all appropriate regions.

Part II Order Smart Form

The Form that has now been approved by MOECC can be found as a fillable PDF here. Use is mandatory from July 1, 2018; however, all are encouraged to begin using this form immediately. The Form is subject to updates so it is best to access the link to retrieve the most up-to-date version

MEA MCEA Companion Guide

Please find a copy of our finalized Companion Guide along with a summary of our Response to MOECC Input.  The guide is intended to be a “living document”. As new issues are identified and modifications to the MCEA are introduced, it is intended that the guide will be updated to continue to assist proponents in the application of the Class EA process and provide some consistency in the interpretation of the impacts of some of these new issues.  The version of the PIIOR Form in the Guide is superceeded by the MOECC approved Form noted above.

Fact Sheet: Changes to How You Submit an ECA Application

Notice from MOECC can be found here.

Update on the MCEA Reform

In mid-January, OGRA circulated a motion asking municipalities to raise awareness with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) about the importance of making improvements to the Municipal Class EA (MCEA) process. We have had great success so far with over 100 municipal councils passing motions. Thanks to all those municipalities that have adopted and forwarded OGRA’s suggested motion.

At the OGRA conference in late February, MOECC made the following announcements:

 1.  The release of a public guide related to filing a PIIOR and the introduction of a mandatory PIIOR form

2.   That MOECC would commit to service standards for the review of PIIORs - Schedule B (90 business days) and C (180 business days)

                  3.   That decisions for PIIORs related to Schedule A and A+ projects would be delegated to the Director.

While these announcements are welcomed and should be viewed positively, the only truly positive aspect is that at least MOECC is acknowledging the problem that must be fixed.  

To pursue further improvements; MEA will release the MCEA Companion Guide in March 2018. Watch for this on the MCEA web site.

Additionally, MOECC is organizing upcoming consultation on Wednesdays, from March 21 – May 2.   Each Wednesday, from 10:00 – 3:00 in their offices in Toronto at 135 St Clair St, they will bring in a small invited group of about 12 to provide input, identify high level improvements to the MCEA and discuss how to achieve the improvements.   MEA will fully participate in this consultation.   Please contact if you would like to join this consultation.

MEA will continue to urge the Minister to improve the time for decisions on PIIORs. To be acceptable, MEA feels that the deadline for PIIOR decisions must be 90 calendar days.   Also, to achieve this deadline, MOECC needs to discontinue the use of Table B and delegate all PIIOR decisions to the Director.   The PIIOR process should not be a political process.

MEA will continue to explain the importance of exempting Schedule A and A+ projects from the PIIOR process and urging the Minister to ensure these projects are exempted. 

 It is not too late to help – please ask your municipality to adopt the OGRA motion calling for improvements to the MCEA.   There are still more changes needed. For those details, please see below.

You may click here to view a recording of the MCEA session at the OGRA conference. Photos are also available here.

There has been considerable interest in the call for resolutions regarding MCEA Reform. An article from Novae Res Urbis (Page 4) can be found here.

Articles on Resolutions for MCEA Reform 

There has been considerable interest in the call for Resolutions regarding MCEA Reform. Links to a few articles have been included below;

Improving Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Processes

The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process was developed by MEA to provide municipalities with a risk-based approach to comply with the Environmental Assessment Act for both capital projects and infrastructure maintenance activities. Over time, the MCEA process has become more complex, delaying projects and significantly increasing costs. In fact, a 2014 study by the Residential and Civil Construction Association of Ontario (RCCAO) showed that it was typically taking almost 27 months to complete the process for Schedule B and C projects, with study and consultant costs averaging $386,500 (not including municipal staff time).

A coalition of EA stakeholders, such as MEA, RCCAO, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) and many others, agree that EA reform is needed and have been pressing the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to make changes.

Last February, a joint application for review was submitted through the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and forwarded to the MOECC. The Ministry responded positively to the application in mid-April 2017 and committed to completing a comprehensive review by December 2018. A good summary of this is found in the Sept./Oct. 2017 edition of ReNew that you can find HERE. Although MOECC accepted the arguments made both in the joint application and by the AG, little progress was made in 2017.

Now with the provincial election scheduled for June 2018, there are limited opportunities for the Ontario government to implement legislative and policy changes. Realizing that this window is closing, MEA and RCCAO organized a workshop on November 29, 2017 where 40 municipal practitioners shared their frustrations with the Class EA process. During the discussion, the top priority for EA reform was identified as improving the Part II Order Request (PIIOR) process.

We are pleased to report that MOECC has now put a team in place and is committed to beginning consultation in early 2018. This team will turn its attention to longer-term improvements that will require more discussion. Recognizing time is limited, MEA also wants to implement short-term EA improvements that can be implemented now.

Without speedy reform, Ontario municipalities risk losing out on funding for projects that are subject to the MCEA process. This simply is neither proper infrastructure planning nor good asset management.

For this campaign to gain traction, the involvement of municipalities across Ontario is vital. The Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) is calling on municipal councils to assist our push to improve the Class EA process. OGRA has distributed a draft resolution that was sent to all heads of council and municipal clerks in Ontario.

As a leader in your municipality, you can complement this work by participating in a letter writing campaign.

This is an important issue. Ensure your voice is heard!

Address to send your resolution to is as follows;


Hon. Chris Ballard

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Ferguson Block

11th Floor, 77 Wellesley St. W.

Toronto, ON   M7A 2T5


Copies can also be sent to the local MPP or MPPs, as well as the Premier:


Premier Kathleen Wynne

Room 281, Main Legislative Building

Queen's Park

Toronto, ON   M7A 1A1


The MEA and RCCAO would like to thank all that attended the November 29th, jointly hosted workshop to discuss reform to the Municipal Class EA (MCEA).   The space available for this workshop filled very quickly demonstrating the keen interest in this topic.   It was useful to hear about EA reform priorities first hand from the 40+ proponents.   A copy of the meeting notes, the 6 attachments to the meeting notes (including all presentations) and attachments 7 & 8 (refered to in discussions below) are included at the end of this message for your convenience.

To summarize the outcome of the workshop - MEA strongly agrees with the Ministry’s idea that a risk based approach should be incorporated into the EA process.   Also, MEA will pursue both easy to implement short term EA improvements that can be implemented now, and longer term improvements that will take some time to implement.

You will note in the government’s Development Approval Roundtable Action Plan (see attachment 7) that the number two priority is to address delays in the PIIOR process, so we hope for prompt action.

To move forward, MEA proposes the following;

Short Term Improvements

PIIOR Form – On November 6th (see attachment 8), MEA suggested some minor revisions to the Ministry’s proposed PIIOR form that we feel will improve the form.   MEA is asking MOECC to provide the finalized version of this form so we can begin encouraging it’s use.    Alternatively, if finalizing the MOECC form is to be delayed, MEA will circulate our own form (that will be very similar to MOECC’s proposed form) for use by MCEA proponents.

Table B – As explained in our email of November 6th, somehow, in recent years, MOECC expanded the scope of a PIIOR process to include issues not related to the reason for the PIIOR.   This is a radical change that the Ministry introduced to the PIIOR process without any legislative change, without any consultation with stakeholders and without any justification that explains thow the benefits outweigh the extra work.   The use of this form is completely contrary to the idea that the EA process should follow a risk based approach – if nobody involved in the MCEA process has identified an issue, why would the proponent and MOECC resources be diverted to the issues contained in Table B?   MEA is seeking confirmation from MOECC that the use of Table B will immediately be discontinued.

PIIOR Decisions – As per our email of November 6th, MEA will submit a major amendment to the MCEA that will replace section A.2.8 with wording that closely follows section 5.1 (water/sewer) and section 5.2 (road) of the original MCEA documents prepared in 1987.   In summary, the amended section A.2.8 we propose would provide the Minister with 90 days (twice the 45 days included in the original MCEA) for the Minister to render a decision on any PIIOR.   In the absence of a decision within the specified time, the proponent would be free to proceed with the project.  

Companion Guide – MEA is just finalizing a Companion Guide to the MCEA.   This guide offers proponents with practical advice to improve the MCEA process.   In particular, this guide responds to high priority issues for proponents and offers guidance related to Climate Change and Indigenous Consultation.  The final guide will be available shortly.

Longer Term Improvements

            MEA will be pleased to work with MOECC and other stakeholders to;

  • Revise the project schedules to properly categorize projects using a risk based approach and include new projects such as pilot projects and repairs following a disaster.
  • Ensure that PIIORs are not possible for Schedule A and A+ projects
  • Provide clear guidance for proponents to coordinate/integrate with other Acts such as the Federal EA Act and the Planning Act
  • Improve access to the MCEA document
  • Clarify details required to be included in a MCEA process. 

Meeting Notes and Attachment 1 - List of Attendees

Attachment 2 - RCCAO MEA Presentation

Attachment 3 - MCEA PIIOR

Attachment 4 - MOECC Update on EA Reform

Attachment 5 - Extended List

Attachment 6 - OGRA MCEA One Pager

Attachment 7 - DAR Action Plan

Attachment 8 - Draft PIIO Smart Form-Email Summary


The workshop is being held in response to the February 2017 EBR application by RCCAO and MEA as well as the 2016 Annual Report of Ontario Auditor General on Environmental Assessment Reform. Further to the EBR application, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has committed to completing a review of the legislation, regulations and ministry policies impacting Municipal Class Environmental Assessments by December 2018. The workshop will provide updated information to stakeholders and allow stakeholders to express views and concerns to the Ministry and other stakeholders about needed improvements to the MCEA process and opportunities to participate in the Ministry’s review.

November 29th, 2017 - 12:30pm-4:00pm

Room 316, 50 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill, Ontario

There is no cost to attend the workshop however attendance will be limited to the first 40 registrants

Officials and consultants involved in the Municipal Class EA process, including municipal planners, administrators, engineers as well as external planners, engineers and other consultants.

Click here to view the agenda.

Click here to Register online (Capacity of Workshop has been reached)

2017 Reports

For the Final 2017 Five Year Review Report, please click here.

For the Final 2017 MCEA Annual Monitoring Report, please click here.

Reform of the MCEA Legislation

The MOECC is now reviewing the MCEA process and following the Auditor General’s report late last year on environmental assessments, the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), in partnership with the Municipal Engineers Association (MEA) submitted an application on February 3rd, 2017 to Ms. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario concerning Municipal Class Environmental Assessments (MCEAs), pursuant to section 61 of the Environmental Bill of Rights. Supporting comments and review can be found HERE

Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Guidance Manual

The following report is intended to bring to the attention of the members of MEA, the proposed Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Management Guidance Manual, issues and comments from the MEA/MOECC liaison Committee.

The Draft LID stormwater Manual can be downloaded HERE

Article on MCEA Review

Please click here for an article in the Daily Commercial News regarding changes to the MCEA.

RCCAO & MEA's 2017 EBR Application 

For an overview of the 2017 EBR Application regarding the MCEA process, please click here.

Climate Change in Environmental Assessments 

All Class EAs will need to be amended to include a climate change section. For a presentation on MOECC’s proposed Guide on Climate Change in Environmental Assessments, please click here.

Municipal Class EA Amendment: Auditor General's Report 

The Auditor General’s Report, which was released on November 30th, 2016, includes Chapter 3 (3.06) which is 48 pages focused on Environment Assessments. MEA’s MCEA Committee supports many of the Auditor General’s recommendations and MOECC’s responses but highlights the following:

Recommendation 7 - “The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change should improve the timeliness of its process for reviewing bump-up requests to ensure that its review does not cause unnecessary delays to projects.”

The Auditor General does an excellent job portraying the serious problem with the delays associated with decisions on bump-up requests and confirms that senior level sign off causes significant delay (110 days) with no added value. For years MEA has been calling for improvements to the process and delegation to the Director. We are very disappointed with MOECC’s response which primarily blames others for the delays.

General – The Auditor General’s investigation focusses on comprehensive (individual EA) and streamlined (Class EAs) but does not seem to address pre-approved Schedule A and A+ projects.

MOECC’s new legal interpretation of the EA Act in 2011, created a loophole that allows for a bump-up request on a pre-approved (Schedule A and A+) project. This is not practical and needs to be addressed.

Paul Knowles has already provided this information in an interview with the Daily Commercial News which could be found here. Further efforts to encourage action are recommended including that the MEA relay concerns with the MCEA process to the provincial opposition parties.

To Purchase a Copy of the MCEA Manual

The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process exists because it was originally approved by the Minister of the Environment in 2000. Amendments to what was originally approved have occurred. The latest version - 2015, is  available. You can purchase a printed copy, or, if you are a Current Member, you can view a searchable version online.  Non-members can purchase access to the searchable online manual.

Note: Please sign on as a member to get searchable web access and member rate on manual.

A free, non-searchable online version is available HERE

Address for sending Part II orders:

The Ministry/Minister of Environment and Climate Change
77 Wellesley St West, 11th Floor
Toronto, ON, M7A 2T5
Fax 416 314 8452


Training & Events

MCEA offers Training Courses to suit your needs. To find out more, please Click Here

Access to the searchable online MCEA Manual for MEA members and paid subscribers

(Note you must be logged on to view this page and to purchase the manual at the Member discount rate)

To purchase the MCEA Manual

To Purchase an on line subscription  Non members click HERE

Access to the free non searchable version of the MCEA manual

To download a high resolution image of the MCEA Planning & Design Process Flow Chart (Exhibit A2 - June 2021), CLICK HERE